The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Getting a feel for the double score

alfanso's picture

Getting a feel for the double score

As of late I've been moving towards a double score on my batards rather than what has become my standard single score.  I am pleased with the results I've seen so far.  The trick, and it is a learned trick, is to keep both blooms as consistent with each other as possible rather than having one big bubble of a bloom and one not so much.  I'm getting there.  And another trick to now put into my bag.  More practice will have to happen to lock it in.

Hamelman Pain au Levain with mixed starters



Danni3ll3's picture

by your breads. They are a work of art! I only hope that one day, I am able to achieve something similar. 

alfanso's picture

Now that you mention work of art - in Feb 2015 I made a ciabatta that when looked at close-up was a bit like art.  Here's the bake and some close-ups of it: 

Thanks again, alan

Ru007's picture

Your loaves are gorgeous!

Can I ask for some tips on scoring? I just posted my weekend bake and the outcome of my scoring isn't great....

I struggle with the blade kind of dragging though the dough and I have to go over the cut a second time (I use a really sharp razor blade).

Do you think my problem is not getting the surface tension of the dough right? But I find that after the dough has been in the fridge all night, its not so tight on baking day....

alfanso's picture

First of all, I think that the score on your latest loaf is quite nice, no issues with it so you are definitely getting to a next level from your first few loaves.


  • Pay attention to David Snyder's suggestions.  He knows what he's talking about and I've learned a lot from him, as have many others.
  • Watch this video on using a lame, just a short one 
  • Watch this video of Ciril Hitz scoring baguettes
  • Watch this video of Ciril Hitz scoring other dough too
  • Use only the tip of the razor blade and enter the dough with a resolute, determined and swift movement, but not rushed.  
  • Don't dawdle on the score.  Slow movement through the dough is a sure way to screw up a score.  
  • I also dip the tip of the blade into the slightest amount of oil to help prevent potential drag.
  • Angle the blade correctly.  High hydration doughs get a sharper angle, lower hydration doughs a slightly lesser angle.
  • Grasp the lame holder between thumb and forefinger, and then rotate your forearm so that the forward most part of the radius bone in your forearm is facing up.
  • Personally I keep the dough at neither a straight head-on nor side-on orientation to my body.  Instead I turn the oven peel with the dough on it to be at an offset so that I am neither scoring directly down toward me nor from left to right.
  • Get a taut skin on your dough so that there is ample surface tension, but not so much as to degas the dough - certainly do not want to do that at this stage in the process.  How to do it is a matter of trial and error.
  • Provide a significant amount of steam in your baking environment for the first 12-13 minutes and then release it
  • Bake on some type of baking deck.
  • Attempt to analyze what went wrong and/or right after every bake until you can be consistent and repetitive in your results.
  • Continue to record notes in your formula that can be used iteratively, so you will remember what to do beyond the basic steps.  Things like whether extra flour must be used on the couche because of the hydration, or the dough remains sticky throughout stretch and folds, or, or, or.


  • Let the skin on the dough dry out.
  • Saw through the dough while scoring.
  • Score directly into the dough straight down.
  • Score more than maybe 1/4 - 1/2 inch deep into the dough.
  • Allow the convection oven fan to run, certainly not for the steaming portion of the bake.
  • Overproof!
  • Give up!

Couldn't be easier!  The first 10,000 loaves are the hardest ;-)


Ru007's picture

To be honest I have been a bit a bit hesitant when i'm scoring the dough, For my lext loaf, i'll try be more decisive with my movements and shape the dough a bit tighter so that the tension remains tight.

I've had a look at some Ciril Hitz videos, he's a great instructor.

Its nice to know that I've still got another 9996 practice loaves to go before people start expecting perfection! LOL!

Thanks again,



dabrownman's picture

looking and twice the fun!  These look great as usual lLan

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Could you post photos of the scoring before baking, please?

alfanso's picture

Hi LL,

You will have to wait for my next bake, as I infrequently take photos of dough, usually just the finished product - and then I'll have to remember!  But to make sure that we are talking apples to apples, an example of what I refer to as single vs. double score.

The left is the Gosselin Levain w/WW (single) and the right is the Hamelman Pain au Levain w/WW (double).



alfanso's picture


I didn't post to you from my last bake because with the sesame seeds completely covering the surface of the dough, it obliterated the scored lines.  But I just posted another bread with the score quite obvious: .